All Seasons Pie

Submitted by: Tony Ruscoe
Traditionally eaten by my family around new year, this pie tastes much better than it sounds!

Serves: 8-10
Difficulty: Medium - some experience needed

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Dietary guidance: n 

Tags: main ·

Ingredients

For the pastry
1½ lb. [750g] plain flour
A pinch [1 metric pinch] of salt
1¼ lb. [625g] hard margarine (preferably straight for the refrigerator)
½ lb. [250g] Cheddar cheese, grated
A little beaten egg for glaze

For the filling
2 lb. [1kg] carrots
2 lb. [1kg] sausagemeat
1 lb. [500g] cooked meat (we used chicken) [me too]
½ lb. [250g] mushrooms [I always use a few more]
1 lb. 3 oz. [3 x 300g] tin garden peas
10¼ oz. [1 x 290g] tin condensed tomato soup
Salt and pepper

Roasting tin 16 inches by 12 inches and 1 inch deep
[Personally, I use a roasting tin 15 inches by 11 inches and 3 inches deep]

Method

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Using a coarse grater, grate the margarine into the flour and mix it in with a knife. Stir in the grated cheese with enough cold water to make a fairly stiff but pliable dough. Wrap the pastry in a piece of greaseproof paper and leave it in a cold place to “rest” for at least half an hour. [In reality, grating margarine is a bit messy, so you could just cut it into small pieces, providing you rub it into the cheese and flour really well! Also, I’ve never had to add any water to make the dough fairly stiff and pliable.]

Meanwhile prepare the filling. Peel and dice the carrots, put them into a large pan of boiling, salted water and boil for ten minutes. Drain them well. Divide the sausagemeat into two-ounce pieces [that’s 16 pieces to save you working it out, although I tend to divide it into 32] and roll each into a ball. [I also coat them in flour once I’ve done this.] Cut the cooked meat into fairly small pieces and put them into a bowl with the carrots and sausagemeat. [Depending on how large your mixing bowl is, you may need to divide all ingredients between two bowls! I tend not to add the sausagemeat balls at this stage as I find they get in the way and break up when you mix everything together.] Wipe the mushrooms, cut them into quarters and add them to the meat with the peas, their liquor [i.e. juice], and the tomato soup. Mix all the ingredients carefully together—try not to break up the sausagemeat balls too much—and finally check the mixture for seasoning.

Divide the pastry into two and roll one half out into a rectangle about two inches larger than the tin. Lift the pastry over a rolling pin into the tin and press it well into the sides. Turn all the filling into the pastry and level it out. Roll the other piece of pastry to the size of the tin, damp the edges and lift it into position, pressing the edges well together; trim them with a sharp knife and knock them up. Roll the trimmings into a long strip about one-and-a-half inches wide, and cut out six large diamonds for leaves. Using the back of a knife, mark the top of the pie into a trellis pattern and brush the complete surface with egg glaze. Position the leaves in pairs pointing towards the centre, then brush them with egg glaze as well. [I tried that and the pasty base just got soggy and mixed in with the filling, so now I just throw all the mixture into the baking tin, place the sausagemeat balls carefully on top of the mixture and then roll the pastry into one piece the size of the tin, placing it on top of the mixture and glazing it with egg to make a thick crust.]

Bake the pie on the centre shelf of a fairly hot oven, gas mark 6 or 400 degrees [205°C], for twenty minutes, then reduce the heat to gas mark 5 or 275 degrees [135°C] for a further thirty-five minutes, until golden brown. [I found that around 180°C for 50-60 minutes in an electric fan oven was about right.]

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